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by mt2k (Hermit)
on Aug 08, 2000 at 22:36 UTC ( [id://26848] : monkdiscuss . print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??

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RE: Goodbye!
by ZZamboni (Curate) on Aug 08, 2000 at 22:54 UTC
    Intolerance has been discussed many times in PerlMonks. I think it's very sad to see someone go because they feel mistreated or unwelcome in any way. I don't care if that someone is the most expert of Perl hackers or the newest newbie on the block. PerlMonks is a community, and we should be willing to welcome everyone, as long as they abide by some basic rules of civility.

    mt2k has been around for some time now (almost the same time as myself, I just discovered). And yes, he can be noisy and sometimes annoying, but I'm sure he has learned a great deal about Perl by hanging out here (as we all have!), and that's the first step towards contributing valuable contents to a site like this. We were all young and careless at some time, and some people (at least in my case) cared enough to give us the opportunity to show that we could mature and become valuable members of a group.

    I have never been personally offended by mt2k's questions or attitude, but maybe someone else has. But we should learn to resolve those differences among ourselves without anyone feeling the need to leave.

    That said, mt2k, there's also some opportunities you have to forge for yourself. Show to everyone that you can actually pull off what you announced a few days ago, and you'll gain the respect of many people here.

    Ok, enough rambling.


      Who do you mean by we?

      Let me speak for myself. I showed up out of nowhere. I tread on a few toes. I admit it. But I have tried to be helpful and polite, I have an offer on my home node for anyone who dislikes me. As I say there, I won't repeat names of anyone who takes me up on it. I will say that nobody has yet taken me up on it though.

      Many (most?) people here have welcomed me. But I have also watched in disbelief as I answer several questions to the best of my ability and they get downgraded one after the other. Which is why today no post of mine appears in the list of best posts of the day...

      (Please do not react to that by modding me up across the board either. I don't particularly care if my rating moves more slowly. I really would dislike being the center of any more politics than is necessary. Besides which, as long as whoever it is doing that keeps on doing that, they cannot use their votes against someone who actually would be bothered. :-)

      The only reason that I am bringing this up is that I have been told by several that I am far from the first person that this has happened to. Please, if you think that my posts do not make a positive contribution, /tell me in person what specifically you object to. If you think it warrants public discussion, then post your opinion as an anonymous monk. A very good place to do that is in response to this post.

      But a small clique should not decide for everyone who they do and do not want to be around, then organize an effort to drive the unwanted people away. If I was the only person this happened to, well that isn't a big deal, there are jerks out there and I long ago learned to accept that. In that case I would not want to inflame the situation by posting this. But it appears that it is far from just me, so I will.


      Inside of an hour of posting the above I had been downmodded across the board enough to lose several xp. Among the posts that were hit was The path to mastery which I really doubt anyone considered of particularly poor quality. But I cannot honestly say that nobody has told me they were offended by me because someone did, "Just so you can't say that nobody told you that." I did not receive an explanation though of exactly why this post caused offence... (In truth I think it might have been a joke..)

        > Let me speak for myself.

        This may be incredibly obvious but no one speaks for anyone here but themselves, even if they use the word "we" in their posts.

        > I tread on a few toes...I have tried to be helpful and polite

        I've seen the latter, I believe. You should stick with that one instead of the former. There seems to be a general community spirit of helpfulness here, and when someone acts contrary to that spirit, I've noticed that many individuals speak up in defense of the Monastery and its unwritten guidelines of behavior. (clarification: good, civil, community-oriented behavior)

        > Many (most?) people here have welcomed me.

        There are thousands of users. That's quite a welcome. I don't mean to be sarcastic, but you seem to use a lot of hyperbole in your post.

        > But I have also watched in disbelief as I answer several questions to the best of my ability and they get downgraded one after the other.

        I haven't read enough of your posts to know whether "to the best of my ability" is synonymous with "correct" and "the needed information". I don't know the tone of your posts either. So I'm not sure I could say that the reaction to your posts is unfair.

        > Which is why today no post of mine appears in the list of best posts of the day...

        Is that your goal?

        > Please do not react to that by modding me up across the board either.

        Okay. I haven't voted on this node because while I believe it is well-written, I also believe that it casts a lot of shadowy accusations. I don't like that as a precedent. Plus, even if I had real evidence that you'd been wronged, I still think that sympathy votes are just uncool.

        > Besides which, as long as whoever it is doing that keeps on doing that, they cannot use their votes against someone who actually would be bothered. :-)

        Some posts deserve a --. I haven't read yours, but it's possible that some of yours deserved to be downgraded. I've gotten -- votes before, sometimes for no reason, more often because there was something not right with my post. It would be more appropriate for the person who votes you down to tell you why, but they are free NOT to do so if they wish. You have the right to vote the way you want to. I doubt that there is one person that is out to use all his/her votes on you, anyway.

        >The only reason that I am bringing this up is that I have been told by several that I am far from the first person that this has happened to.

        Does "this" refer to receiving -- votes? Or receiving a whole horde of -- votes? If it's the latter, I'm curious as to why. You made some mention of being voluble in the chatterbox. Do you think that may be affecting your standing in the community?

        > /tell me in person what specifically you object to. If you think it warrants public discussion, then post your opinion as an anonymous monk. A very good place to do that is in response to this post.

        Sure. I think that you are not the center of anything here, though you have made an extraordinary number of posts in the very short time since you joined the community. I think you should cite facts instead of making ambiguous accusations about an organization of conspirators (q{But a small clique should not decide for everyone who they do and do not want to be around, then organize an effort to drive the unwanted people away.})

        This is the first post of yours I have read. I replied instead of voting on it. I would be interested to hear your further impressions of the community, but with more specifics.


        e-mail neshura

        Since tilly asked, or rather queried...
        > I would like it if some of those people were > to step forward and say in public what they > said in private. Namely that I seem to be the > latest lightning rod for stuff that has been > going on for quite a while.
        For what it's worth, I was one of the PM users who /told him what I thought about the situation. My opinions, etc. And while I'm generally loathe to get involved in site politics, I think I'll "contribute" here.

        I've been on PM since February of this year, and while that doesn't by any means give me some sort of superiority, it *does* give me perspective. Let's get straight into it: my main problem with PerlMonks is this very sense of community described in this thread by zzamboni. The "community" of PerlMonks presents itself as an accepting, helpful place where new Perl users can ask anything, and shouldn't feel ashamed about it. Sure, they should do some work on their own, but they shouldn't feel initimidated like they might posting on comp.lang.perl.misc.

        This is a noble idea.

        The problem is, the "community" that I've seen on PerlMonks doesn't reflect this ideal.

        That's too general a statement, of course. And yes, I've definitely seen many PerlMonks regulars trying their best to be helpful to newbies, rather than simply cursing them out.

        But at the same time, I've seen a very disturbing amount of nasty cliquey (not to mention borderline misogynistic, but that's another issue) behavior. Certain users--no names, mainly because I don't know whether these users would like be used as "examples"--have simply to make a post to have it voted down.

        There is a very cliquey element of PerlMonks that makes it a rather ugly place to be, at times. This element is, I think, what leads to things like tilly's posts getting voted down; it's a gang mentality that seems to be motivated in part by the voting system. I don't know whether it becames a game, or a contest, to see how low a node's reputation can go. But it's just not fun to watch.

        What's worse, many of the users who I've personally seen ambushed--ambushed right out of the purported welcoming party that is PerlMonks--have been very experienced Perl users. Some have been battered about, have left for a bit, but have come back. Which is wonderful. But others haven't come back, and that's a real shame. Because every time this "community" drives away a Perl user--any user, but particularly one with a vast amount of experience--make no mistake: it is a *loss* for the community.

        Maybe it comes down to this: it is my opinion that a user who regularly makes excellent, helpful posts on Perl is far more important to this "community" than someone who's always perfectly polite in his/her responses.

        And it seems that this opinion just is basically at odds with the PerlMonks philosophy, which seems to, in times of conflict, value the vague sense of "community" over helpful, interesting, and, I'd even go so far to say, *correct*, posts. Which will probably get this node dropped down to about -500 in reputation. :)

        Now I don't want to give the impression that I don't like PerlMonks. I truly enjoy the site, and I've learned about Perl by helping other people learn. Which is a very positive thing. Nor am I suggesting that I have better ideas how to run the "community". I don't. And I'm not saying that this is the only Perl group out there blighted by egos. It isn't.

        It is, however, one of the first I've seen that, despite these problems, goes so far as to act as if it's a warm, accepting community. And it isn't, always.

        Anyway, I hate writing this kind of stuff. So I'll stop.

(ar0n) Re: Goodbye!
by ar0n (Priest) on Aug 08, 2000 at 22:46 UTC
    I see no reason for you to leave, it's just that you ask questions that can be solved as easily as reading a manpage or doing a google search. And people are simply tired of answering questions that can be solved by RTFM (if you don't know what that means, look it up). There are plenty of good Perl tutorials online you can read. Try for instance.

    And I certainly don't think jjhorner meant his remark in an all too negative tone. (though i don't really know jjhorner :)

    -- ar0n | Just Another Perl Joe

(crazyinsomniac) !@#$%^&*()!@#$%^&&*!@#$%^&*
by crazyinsomniac (Prior) on Aug 11, 2000 at 13:06 UTC
    Hi all y'all,

    Now lokee her'.
    All y'all peoples gettin' offended, don't!
    Grow som' brains and grow som' brass.

    When speakin' expect to be spoken to, even if you' gettin yelled at!!
    Suck it up.

    And finally, fix that short fuse, relax and be nice, you'll live longer.

by jjhorner (Hermit) on Aug 08, 2000 at 23:05 UTC

    I have never asked you to leave. I have asked you to moderate your behavior. I have always been respectful of your abilities and your intelligence. I have said many times that you can be very sharp when you try.

    I have never called you a name, nor have I ever insulted you. I have given you my opinion many times and I have REPEATEDLY asked you to moderate your behavior towards other monks, towards the customs on this site, and towards the features of this site.

    I believe you to be capable and intelligent, but I also believe you to be abusive to the way this site is setup. You have posted all of 44 messages since you have been here, and a fair majority of them have a negative Rep. And yet you still have over 500 XP. I do not KNOW how that could happen, other than you logging everyday and voting. I don't believe that to be beneficial to this site or its worth as a perl resource.

    All that aside, I don't believe you need to leave this site. I believe you need to calm down, think before you post, and try to contribute. If, after this, you still feel that you should leave, then I apologize for not making my personal wishes known well enough. I never wanted you to leave. I wanted you to behave.

    J. J. Horner
    Linux, Perl, Apache, Stronghold, Unix

      I think one of the challenges Perlmonks faces is, what we expect from us. From your past posts (discussion about "contributions of monks"; discussion about "voting scale") I get the impression that you think there are good (= contributing) members of our community and bad members, who are detrimental to the goal of our community.

      I have two problems with this. First, your posts seem to me somewhat critic of people of low(er) XP. Of course, newcomers won't fit in and be a "useful" part of the community from the start, but I don't think that "us" old-skoolers (or old scholars) should put as much effort into the XP system as you display. Of course it's sad if people see their only chance for attaining monk by voting out, but if that's their only ability, so be it I say. Second, you seem to distinguish Perlmonks into two categories, those who are Perl monks and those who benefit from it without contributing back - a separation which is not necessarily wrong, but I feel that you think that there should be only one class of Perlmonks. This brings me down to what Perlmonks is to me - a helpfull community where everybody is helped and where everybody can benefit, as long as they obey some basic rules of style (<CODE> tags) and form (polite language). And while it makes sense to distinguish between people who contribute and people who don't, I think that the current system of rank and XP serves this purpose quite well and is already enough motivation to participate and contribute to those who want to.

      The people who only vote out and do not actively and repeatedly contribute to Perlmonks are a part of us, just as Anonymous Coward and Trolls are a part of Slashdot. And honestly, I'm much more content with having people who vote out.

      I know that you had your gripes with mt2k boasting about how he attained monk rank without ever writing anything useful, and I must admit that this also dented my relaxedness regarding his posts. But I always reminded myself that mt2k is very young (about my age when I started visiting BBSes) and you do need a relaxed approach when dealing with (I know you won't like it, mt2k, but...) kids. Personally I viewed mt2k as some form of jester of the monastery, always exploring stuff within the mechanics of the monastery while trying to learn stuff about Perl.

      If I've misinterpreted or misunderstood you in any way, please tell me so.

        You hit the nail on the head, for the most part. ++ to you.

        I do believe that all should do their best and contribute. It is a sad fact of life that not all people are going to fit in everywhere. It is a sad fact of life that not everyone is going to succeed. I am all for success. If I behave negatively toward the success of others, then I do not deserve my own success.

        However, some of the monks here, including myself, are not really willing to let someone skate by abusing the system. I have heard mt2k repeatedly claim that he did nothing wrong by making the system work for him. He admitted that he abused the system to gain rank, and therefore privileges.

        I also believe that everyone should contribute. In some small way, everyone should do their part, pull their own weight. If some of us are able to answer coding questions, we answer them. If some of us are able to put effort into making the site more enjoyable, we do it. Everyone works and everyone gains. We should have no members who won't contribute. mt2k contributed a lot to the site, and that is why I don't think he should leave. Unfortunately, he also took a lot from the site. He was disrespectful of others, he aggravated many people, even so much so that he joked on his home node about how annoying he was. I asked him to moderate his behavior for the good of the community.

        Now, I have never knowingly been disrespectful to lower XP monks. I had a low XP at one point and I worked at it. I welcome all who wish to study at our monastery. Lower XP is a fact of life. That is the only part of your response that isn't quite on target.

        You may be content with people who gain rank without showing Perl aptitude or general aptitude. For the most part, it doesn't bother me. It apparently bothers some, otherwise the new experience system would have never been devised.

        There will always be people who contribute and people who don't. In projects, at work, on teams, in sports, etc, there will be people who rely on the work of others to get by. mt2k was not really one of these people. He did make this site more unique and more interesting, when he was behaving. He did ask questions and get information into the public record, and I think that is the best way someone can contribute when just starting here. I do feel, however, that higher levels of monks need to contribute more than just questions to the site. After "monk" a member of the community needs to contribute more evolved content. You wouldn't give a doctorate to someone who kept asking easily answerable questions, would you?

        The thing that bothered me the most about mt2k is that his average Rep per node was very low, probably negative. Think about that for just a second. . . By all accounts, he should have been losing XP, not gaining. You said it yourself: he was viewed as the jester of the monastery. Should a friar be a jester?

        Thank you for your thoughtful response.

        J. J. Horner
        Linux, Perl, Apache, Stronghold, Unix
by mcwee (Pilgrim) on Aug 09, 2000 at 06:18 UTC
    Admitttedly, I haven't been spending as much time in the monastary lately as I'd like (I changed jobs, and while the new job is far more spiritually fulfilling, it lacks the old job's dedicated T1. Ah mi.)-- but still, m2k is leaving? This is very upsetting. I always thought of the lil guy as a sort of institution-- like that fake plastic grass stuff in easter baskets. I mean, maybe the stuff doesn't neccessarily serve a can't-do-without-it purpose, and it gets kinda annoying sometimes (like when you have to rip the crap out of a jammed vacuum cleaner,) but easter baskets just aren't the same without it. The Monastary will be legitamtely poorer for the loss of m2k. While he didn't neccessarily contribute to the sum total knowledge of our community, he certainly was a part of its character. At the very least, for those of us with strong programming skills but, um, sub-optimal people skills (famous Perl hackers who write books, I'm looking at you), m2k consistently offered us the opportunity to attempt to achieve the Buddha nature, and choose to help one along rather than lash out with frustration.

    And, because I don't want it to sound like m2k was just an object lesson (or, for that matter, an object), I wanna go on record as saying that the kid had a lot of spunk, and I admired his sticktoitiveness. All I did when I was his age was wash dishes for minimum wage and commit the sin of Onan-- in the very least he rose above my poor example.

    Godspeed, kid. Don't be a stranger. Please.

    (If it's any consolation-- and you sound pretty hurt, so I doubt it is-- I don't think I ever --ed you. You just never really pissed my off that much. I don't think.)

    (pardon the spelling and typography. drunk)

    The Autonomic Pilot; it's FunkyTown, babe.

      I know that a lot of people are annoyed by mt2k and his tone and his actions, and his general demeanor, but...

      like I say, there are beginners in Perl, and I hope that we don't drive them away, there are beginners in life ( at 16, mt2k has another 60+ years to go )and while they can be annoying, they need guidance. And unlike Perl, where we can say RTFM, there is no real 'manual' for life. So I try to remain patient and positive with mt2k. Not to say that people have not been patient, but I have not known a teenager that does not test my patience on a regular basis. Hell, I'm amazed I was not strangled when I was a teenager.

      I hope you don't leave. When you ask a Perl question, or talk about what you are learning, I am amazed, because at your age, I was spending my time tossing pizza dough in the air and marvelling at the jumbo size Mt Dews at Taco Bell.

      Stick with it kid, it will be alright.